Photo: Martin Phoenix
By Terry Wilson
SURFERS PARADISE v PALM BEACH CURRUMBIN
At Sir Bruce Small Park, 2pm
Ins: Connor Manning, Daniel Van de Werken, Jasper Graham, Haydn Kiel, Brodie Grant, Hunter Pierce.
Outs: Noa Corbett (Southport NEAFL), Dylan Mutu (Southport NEAFL), Myles Jewell (uni exam), Harrison Fraser (ankle), Elliott Bath (hamstring), Connor Mackenzie (calf).
Palm Beach Currumbin:
Ins: Brock Askey, Nathan Robertson, Riley Mayne, Tom Ellard, Ashton Crossley, Corey Beaman.
Outs: Zac Harrison (elbow), Luke Vanderfeen (ankle), Lewis McNally (ill), Dean Katsiris (Suns NEAFL), Curtis Marsden (omit), Anthony Rofe (omit).
THERE are all sorts of reunions in place for a big QAFL Gold Coast derby day when Surfers Paradise host premiers Palm Beach at Sir Bruce Small Park.
Off the field and set for a huge afternoon are those involved in a 1998 premiership reunion to celebrate Surfers’s win against Palm Beach Currumbin at the same ground.
That game was a thriller won by the Demons by two points, their side coached by Brian Durack.
Out on the field on Saturday will be a reunion of sorts for 2017 Grogan Medallist Jason Burge (PBC) and Haydn Kiel, the Southport-listed player on his way back from a second knee reconstruction.
Burge and Kiel played together in the Southport 2006 (QAFL) premiership side at the Gabba before going their separate ways after that.
However, the two reunited at the Sharks and played in the same teams from 2012 to 2016.
There is every possibility that, both being midfielders, they will cross paths at some stage in what is shaping up as a titanic tussle to control centre field.
This is where Burge, Brock Askey, Tyler Cornish and the likes have been so dominant for the Lions but also an area where Cassidy Haberfield has been a standout for the Demons.
The Dees, however, have lost midfield options in Dylan Mutu to Southport NEAFL and Harrison Fraser (ankle) to injury.
Despite their sixth successive win of the year over Morningside last round, PBC have rung in half a dozen changes, losing Zac Harrison (elbow) and ruck option Luke Vanderfeen (ankle).
But the Lions have named huge talent Ashton Crossley and Corey Beaman for their seniors debuts – the Demons also have Hunter Pierce on debut – as they continue to promote youth.
Ashton is the younger brother of Brayden Crossly, who made his AFL debut with the Suns this year and, like Beaman, is a product of the Burleigh juniors, then the PBC State High program.
The Lions also regain in-form small forward/midfielder Brock Askey and flanker Nathan Robertson, although gun forward Jack Anthony continues to battle with a leg injury.
Download: Rd8 - Demons v Lions Team Lists
BROADBEACH v WILSTON GRANGE
At Subaru Oval, 2pm
Ins: Blake Erickson, Nelson Sorrensen, Rhys Finn, Xavier McMahon, Luke Dempsey-Ceh, Matt Smith.
Outs: Ryan Pantic (suspended), Josh Searl (hamstring), Rob Blood (quad), Harrison Kerr (Redland NEAFL), Kai Sheers (Southport NEAFL), Jack O’Shea (Southport NEAFL).
Ins: Joey Daye, Bill Beardsell, Fletcher McIvor, Luca Mason.
Outs: Hugh Campbell (knee), Campbell Luers (omit), Scott Dalton (omit), Jonah Farry (uni exams).
WILSTON Grange’s wretched run of injuries has claimed another key victim, this time inspirational captain Hugh Campbell.
Campbell faces a knee reconstruction next week and will miss the remainder of Grange’s season from hell after surgery.
The loss of Campbell is one of four changes made by the Gorillas who travel down the M1 to play Broadbeach at Subaru Oval.
“Losing our captain is really disappointing for us, but it’s devastating for him,” Grange coach Nathan Clarke said.
“At least we get some back this week and we’re confident down there at Broady.”
Also back in the red, white and blue are Joey Daye, Luca Mason and Fletcher McIvor, which gives the Gorillas a much-stronger look.
Third placed Broadbeach have also been forced into a number of key changes, losing club dual best and fairests Josh Searl (hamstring) and Ryan Pantic (suspended), on top of utility Robert Blood (quad) and Southport call-up Jack O’Shea.
Back into the seniors are big Xavier McMahon after suspension and Blake Erickson after injury. Erickson is a key for the Cats as he is current leader in the race for the Syd Guilford Trophy.
Broadbeach coach Brett Andrews identified the Cats’ next two fixtures against the Grange, then away to Sandgate, as possible season definers.
Broadbeach are sitting third on standings with 16 points but have Western Magpies and Surfers Paradise (12 points) and Morningside (8) on their tail.
“We’re in a good position at 4-2 and if we win our next two that would be 6-2 and a decent place to be in,” Andrews said.
“But you can never underestimate Surfers and the Magpies are starting to take some scalps.
“It means we have to win our next two because after the bye we play five of the top six sides in a row.”
Download: Rd8 - Cats v Gorillas
LABRADOR v SANDGATE
At Cooke-Murphy Oval, 2pm
Ins: Zach Brain, Joel Baxter, Lachlan Smith, Corey Mullins, Max Johnston, Brandon Gibbs, Chris Talbot, Anthony Duravitch, Nick Jackson, Andy Hollis. Outs: Jake Goldsmith (groin), Jayden Young (Southport NEAFL), Jaicob Kenny (Southport NEAFL), Kane Haua (Suns NEAFL, Michael Lakeman (honeymoon), Tui Lowah (Suns NEAFL), Cooper Portelli (Suns NEAFL), Jarrod Mills (Suns NEAFL). Jackson Brumley, Jarrod Mills.
Ins: Will Cleeland (Aspley), Trent Lowrie, Marcus Schrader (debut), Vanyon Angeles (debut), Jack Powell, Shane Rogerson.
Outs: Lachie Harris (ankle), Josh Preval (Lions NEAFL), Toara Marango (Lions NEAFL), Zac Buechner (Aspley NEAFL), Jared Bond (unavailable), Mitch Crawley (uni exam).
LABRADOR had a record nine changes when they last played a game in the QAFL.
That was against Broadbeach a fortnight ago but amazingly that record looks like being broken a week after the bye with the Tigers flagging 10 changes to their side to play Sandgate at Cooke-Murphy Oval.
Those are serious numbers in anybody’s language and indicate the reasons behind Labrador’s tumble from the top rungs of the ladder with only one win this season for the 2017 grand finalists.
Most certainly tigers football manager, widely experienced Peter Young, has seen nothing like it.
“We had nine changes last time, we’ve got 10 this time and it is hard to cope with,” Young said.
“We have used 43 players in seven games this year. I’ve never seen it before – and I have coached for more than 25 years.”
Compounding the Tigers’ problems are the call-ups of four teenagers to the Suns NEAFL side, as well as Southport grabbing Jayden Young and Jaicob Kenny also for NEAFL duties.
Also set to hurt the Tigers is the loss of big ruck/forward Jake Goldsmith (groin strain).
The Tigers named Joel Baxter and Brandon Gibbs for the seniors deebuts.
Opponents Sandgate have also been shredded by the loss of players to the NEAFL as the Brisbane Lions and Aspley stock up on Hawks.
Aspley-listed Lachie Harris is out with ankle, the Lions have taken Josh Preval and Toara Marango, and Zac Buechener is required by Aspley.
That takes a decent haul of talent away from the Hawks, who need every hand on deck.
But identifying future NEAFL or AFL players is what modern-day football in south-east Queensland is all about these days, says Sandgate coach Jarad Marsh.
“It is tough but we know where we’re at,” he said. “We’re trying to produce and develop kids who can play NEAFL.
“But a bit of continuity (in availability) would be nice.
“Still, it gives an opportunity for a couple of young blokes who have earbned their chances.
“I’m confident if we can bring intensity and effort we can give ourselves a chance against Labrador.”
Marsh said Sandgate did that against Mt Gravatt last-up and thought his Hawks controlled the game for a half.
“It’s now just a matter of getting the same for three quarters, then four quarters,” he said.
Marcus Schrader and Vanyon Angeles have been named for their first games in the seniors.
Download: Rd8 - Tigers v Hawks